The main mandate of the Gender Affairs Section is to guide the Mission’s leadership, components, sections and offices as to ensure gender responsiveness throughout their strategic planning and operational activities.
As per the ‘DPKO-DFS policy on gender responsive peacekeeping operations 2018-2021’, all staff are required to integrate gender perspectives in their daily work in-line with the Women, Peace and Security principles and to achieve tangible and measurable results on this regard.
The resolution 2409, requests MONUSCO to take fully into account gender considerations as a crosscutting issue throughout its mandate […} ensuring the participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels, including in the creation of conditions conducive to the holding of elections, protection of civilians and support to stabilization efforts through, inter alia, the provision of gender and women protection advisers, and further requests enhanced reporting by MONUSCO to the Council on this issue.
As a result, it is expected that the Mission will increase operational effectiveness and efficiency of peacekeeping operations, both by civilian and uniformed components, by responding to the differentiated needs, concerns and contributions of women and men.
To achieve this goal, Gender Affairs works through four focus areas:
Through the Gender Markers accountability tool Gender Affairs assess, monitors, reports and improves the work of MONUSCO in delivering on WPS and gender mandates. As part of this tool, offices in the Mission craft a gender analysis of their work, monitor their work with gender sensitive indicators and collect and monitor sex-disaggregated data. After the closure of the Mission’s cycle, Gender Markers are assigned to each office according to how successful they were in integrating gender in their work.
Gender Focal Points, selected and appointed in 35 offices in HQ and Field Offices, support gender responsiveness in their teams and the implementation of the Gender Markers within their offices.
Gender Affairs provides capacity building on gender responsiveness for all staff members, through mandatory trainings, induction sessions and specialized trainings for managers and gender focal points. Strategic partners like civil society, ministries officials, the PNC and FARDC also benefit from coaching on gender. Gender dimensions are also mainstreamed in trainings and capacity-building packages, including training of trainers in benefit of FARDC and PNC.
Gender affairs has also as priority to strengthen capacities for a gender responsiveness peacekeeping through integrating gender perspective in the protection of civilian and stabilization with initiatives such as:
- The mapping of risk hotspots for women and girls in conflict-affected areas in Beni, Bunia, Bukavu, Goma and Kinshasa territories.
- The Promotion of responsible citizenship, pacific cohabitation and non-violent communication through positive masculinities and young women leadership
- Creating pools of women mediators to promote and increase women’s involvement in the peace process and pacification of their respective communities.
The goal of gender parity at all levels in the UN is a commitment that is now two decades old and is reflective of core values that are as old as the Organization itself. A gender balanced workforce makes MONUSCO a model for the community it serves. It also ensures efficiency and productivity through diversity. The Mission implements a Gender Parity Strategy since January 2017, in accordance to the Secretary General’s Gender Parity Strategy. The Mission’s goal is to increase the proportion of women among international civilian staff from 28% in December 2016 to 34% by end 2018.
Women’s Political Participation
Gender Affairs aims to empower women’s political involvement and representation, by:
- Providing women electoral candidates and women voters with a safe and supportive environment to share their experiences and voice their concerns on challenges they face regarding security, gender-bias, practical and cultural barriers, etc.;
- Promoting greater participation of women in all aspects of political life through awareness-raising and advocacy in meetings and negotiations with government and civil society partners;
- Ensuring that gender-balance, inclusiveness and peaceful governance are highlighted in all external activities of other MONUSCO substantive sections;
- Promoting gender-sensitive and non-sexist communication in the media, as well as increasing women’s opportunities to be heard in the media on the broadest range of political issues;
- Improving women’s security during the electoral period, by advising relevant government instances on gender-aware methods and strategies for implementing existing legal and security frameworks